Thomas Jefferson

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Strike Three, You’re Out!

Posted 04/18/2010 by Scott Bruskin

Spartan Senior Ace Brennan Henry behind the glove.

Photo by Rebecca Holt

Photo by Rebecca Holt

Brennan Henry loves many things in life, but his number one passion is baseball. Henry, who has been playing varsity baseball at Thomas Jefferson High School since his Sophomore year, has grown from a young naive player to TJ’s ace pitcher who will be playing baseball next year at Garden City Community College in Garden City, Kansas. Henry is faced this year with the challenge of anchoring a strong pitching staff that also includes holdover Kyle Freeland.

Henry has been pitching in big time situations for TJ since his Sophomore year, compiling a record of 9-1 that year with a 1.90 ERA. “Sophomore year was real fun. I had experienced players behind me as they were all seniors. They showed me how to be a baseball player, and how to prepare for every game. But they also taught me to just ease up and have fun; it made me feel relaxed,” Henry said. As a Junior Henry battled through a rough year, as did the program, yet he finished with a record of 3-3. So far this year, Henry has a record of 1-1 with an ERA of 2.52; he also has 12 strikeouts to date.

What Henry possesses as a strong left-handed pitcher is a controlled fastball that, when placed correctly, is hard to hit. “I like to change the hitter’s vision, so staying low, then coming high on my fastball is tough to catch up with,” said Henry. However, Henry feels he is most deceptive when he is facing a lefty hitter. “When I have a lefty up against me, I know I have a strike three pitch, and that is a hard curve-ball at their knees.  If I execute it right, there is no way they are going to touch it,” Henry said.

Henry will get his catcher back from last year, as incumbent starter Grant Maloney returns to the team for his second straight year as TJ’s backstop. And Maloney can’t be more excited. “I like our staff this year. We are even more experienced than we were last year, and it think Bubba and Kyle are one of the best pitcher tandems in all of DPS,” Maloney said.

Henry is not only great on the baseball diamond, but he is also one of TJ’s most influential and spirited leaders during practices and games. “Bubba is definitely fiery,” chuckled Junior Second Baseman Kelly Sinopili-Martinez. “Bubba gets everyone else ready to do whatever it is we have to do; whether it’s rally late in a game, or take a lap at the start of practice. He is always on us. The passion is there,” Martinez continued.

Henry has also had a great impact on the TJ community as he has given up his time and energy to participate in Unified Sports at TJ. Unified Sports is a program at TJ that allows students to teach and interact with Special Ed kids in various sports. “I think this is a good way to give back. I really liked the environment, and I liked working with all of the nice staff members and kids. Ms. Pitrone and Ms. Repensek helped keep it real; they are genuine people,” Henry said.

In the classroom Bubba never ceases to amaze his instructors, as he impresses them with both his desire to work hard as well as his attention to detail. “Bubba blew me away with his artistic ability; specifically on the CSAP poster project. I had no idea a jock like Bubba could be so creative. I’m very proud of him,” said DECA Teacher Matt Nicolo.

Outside of baseball and school, Henry loves to spend time with his family. “I would definitely label myself a family man,” said Henry. The two usual suspects that Brennan rolls with are his two older brothers, Nate and Kelvin, ages 24 and 20 respectively. “We like to hang out at their places and just do whatever comes to us. It’s always fun with those guys because I never know what the night will hold,” Henry stated. However, there is one thing that the three Henry brothers will always do, and that is go camping. “We definitely love camping. It’s just the most relaxing thing, to be up in the mountains where there is nothing to worry about. I always have a good time.”

One other thing that is very near and dear to Brennan, is his video games. It seems every high school student loves the adrenaline pumping excitement that comes from video games, and this stays true for Henry with the game Call of Duty, as he considers himself,” The best of the best at COD (Call of Duty). Anyone who wants to play can bring it!” offered Henry with a grin. “I really like playing COD because it’s a time for me to just relax and take my mind off of things,” said Henry.

Make sure to catch Henry and the rest of the Spartan boys as they look to return to prominence and capture their seventh City Title in the past eight seasons.